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Classic CBS ’70s Sculpture Returns to Eye

Artist created piece for Black Rock lobby; his will returns it there

A piece of CBS history from the 1970s has returned home after a posthumous donation by its creator, Vincent Ashbahian.

Once a focal point of Black Rock’s lobby, the sculpture, commissioned by the company in 1976, was designed and built by Ashbahian to represent the various media under the umbrella of the CBS corporation. The artist retained possession of the piece in the years since it was last displayed at the company’s corporate headquarters in the late 1970s, but Ashbahian requested that the prized sculpture be donated to CBS after his death. Ashbahian died in October.

“This sculpture is a classic,” said George Schweitzer, president, CBS marketing group. “The design is as vivid and relevant today as it was 36 years ago, during the leadership of CBS’ visionary founder — and art enthusiast — William S. Paley.”

Indeed, Paley had been involved in New York’s Museum of Modern Art since the 1930s, and subsequently became chair of the museum. He was also a noted collector.

Ashbahian’s widow, Inge Lehmann, was present at the recent rededication of the piece, made of canvas stretched over wood. The sculpture hangs in the 53rd Street lobby entrance, in its original spot.

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